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Post Info TOPIC: A research paper I wrote...


Brigadier

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A research paper I wrote...
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I wrote this paper for my history class. You all know how interested I am in Edwin Wheelock and the Skeleton Tank, and I decided it was high time I assembled every shred of information I have ever come across into a coherent chronological paper.

Included, just for completions sake, are the currently un-proven account that M1917s and the Skeleton Tank were used in Nicaragua in the 1927 US backed fight against marxist guerillas led by Sandino, which myself and Tim Rigsby have been endeavoring to prove or disprove, with no concrete conclusion so far.

I believe that this paper puts to rest, or at least offers explanation, for every available facet of the subjects mentioned, and as such is probably the most informative complete paper on the subject ever written. Having written it the day before it was due, and spending 8 hours on it, working well past 4:00 in the morning, I cannot be entirely sure if there are no errors in it however...

I was wondering if some of you could read it, perhaps help me correct, improve, or streamline it - and I would also like your comments on it.

The paper actually turned in included a cover, data sheets and pictures for the M1917, Mk.VIII, and 'Mother' British tank, scanned from "Tanks of the World 1915-1945 by Chamberlain and Ellis to give the uninformed reader data to contrast with the Wheelock vehicles. Also included were black & white photos of the skeleton tank, the grainy newspaper picture of the Skeleton tank in the Mississippi river, and photos of the preserved vehicle and of the plaque sitting next to it - although I obviously will not include all of this in this post, as it would be sizeable and already posted before.

Thanks in advance for your replies!

P.S. File was made in Microsoft Word and will not display entirely accurately in WordPad or other programs.

---Vil.

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Legend

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Hi Vilkata,


That was really interesting, you've done a nice job there pulling all sorts of disparate information together.


Nice to see you deal very objectively with Wheelock and Lowe's claims vis-a-vis 'Major Wilson' etc. Looks kind of familiar... However, reading it again, I confess to having made a couple of minor mistakes when I posted on that subject months ago, which you might want to incorporate:


In May 1915, when Lowe was in London, Lt (as, you state correctly, he was at the time) Wilson was in England, not France (I was wrong before). He was actually mucking around with a pair of Bullock caterpillar tractors with Bertie Stern and Col Crompton in some marshes on the Thames Estuary. However, I still stand by my statement that he wouldn't have been the Wilson at the War Office, as he still held naval rank. However, he did become a temporary Major - but not until 1916, so again, the comments about his rank are correct for May 1915.


Of course, everything else you say about Wheelock's design being basically a Big Wheel machine really does make his later claims of plagiarism utter nonsense.


The rest of your piece is fascinating, especially the later comments about the possibility of use in Nicaragua! I can't really comment on the accuracy of it as it's outside my area, but it's a rattling good read!


Now, when you say it was an assignment, what was it for? College? Publication?


If not the latter, have you thought about self-publishing it, as an electronic document? You could create a very nice pamphlet-format document, with drawings and photos as well as text, and make it into a pdf file.



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Hero

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Hello Vil


  Just read your article and your email. Very interesting, I am glad you decided to write all your information into an article. (I hope you received an A)


  Question, do you have any blue print drawings of Wheelock’s first wheeled designs?? Or do you know which tractors they were patented after.


 


I will email you tomorrow.


All the Best


Tim R



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Brigadier

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Roger! Thank you for your comments and your corrections.

Allow me to add a bit more information to the story then, utilising the info you just mentioned:

The first time Lowe mentioned Wilson in any newspaper article was in 1925, and in that article he called him Major Wilson. Therefore it is hypothetically possible that Lowe learnt of Wilson being a Major, if only for a short time as you stated, and called him 'Major Wilson' even though it was not correct for the actual events of 1915 that he was describing.

Also, Lowe not mentioning Wilson in the first, 1917 articles could have been because he didn't know Wilson's role in the development of the tank.At first Lowe claimed that Swinton must have stolen the blueprints, because Swinton was quickly credited with the idea of the tank. In fact, early on in 1917 Lowe and Wheelock did not claim to have invented the British Mk.I tank - they were complaining that the British had not gotten their idea for their tanks from the Holt tractor, because Swinton was working in the War Office, and the blueprints supposedly got sent to the war office. It was logical to assume Swinton got his ideas from Wheelocks designs, not Holt. In fact, Wheelock and Lowe never seem to have said that Wheelock invented the Mk.I. They always seem to say that Wheelock invented "the tank" - and that he deserved credit for that concept (despite his vehicle being wheeled, with only notation of possible tracks).

I have no idea how this got so over blown that people began to think that Wheelock invented the Mk.I. Its impossible!! Wheelocks was massively heavier, and wheeled, and he nor Lowe ever claimed to have invented the Mk.I, or any other british tank - but that they had invented the idea, the concept, of them, and that the British had stolen that IDEA.

So... Sure... Maybe Lowe did give the plans to THE Wilson. Many, many, far fetched ultra-heavy big wheel vehicle designs were being passed on through Brittain. Wheelock and Lowe just got carried away apparently. (No doubt the desire for the huge prize was also a factor!)

Tim, Wheelock only made one set of blueprints, and as Lowe never managed to retrieve them from London, no one has ever seen them again. However, Wheelocks company did manufacture big wheel tractors as big as elephants, so it is easy to assume that Wheelocks 60,000 lb "armored war tractor" was reminiscent of the Pioneer Tractor designs.

I'll wait for more replies before editing my article with this new information!

And again, any suggestions, ideas, anything at all, even with what I've typed in this post here, please say!

Oh, and it was written for a Community Colledge 'Western History' class.

---Vil.

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Brigadier

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Ok... Here is something that I don't understand.

In Nov. 1928, the British War Office announced that, because the concept of the tank was not new, as H.G. Wells described them as early as 1903, the $150,000 prize for invention of the Tank, was for the man or men who drew up the specific plans used for the first tanks.

Well wait - did not Swinton recieve the award? He did not draw up the specific plans for the first tanks! He merely had the imagination and inspiration to nurture the idea through the political circles until Tritton and Wilson drew up the plans!

Was the British War Offices position on who the prize was intended for changed afterwards? Now I'm confused.

---Vil.

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Hero

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Hello Guys


 Here is a little more history on the pioneer tractor mfg.company.


All the Best


Tim R



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"The life given us by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal"
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Brigadier

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Thanks Tim! I already have that, and I used bits and pieces of it in my report. It is definitely a great article, and I encourage everyone to read it. It's smack full of information about Pioneer Co.'s succesful line of tractors.

---Vil.

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Legend

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Vilkata - I'm at work, so don't have access to my books and stuff - but thanks for your post. And thanks for clearing up the business about what Wheelock and Lowe did, or did not, claim. The problem, I think, was the magazine article you linked to a while back, which gave the impression they were claiming more than, it seems, they actually did. I agree that by the time Wheelock started kicking up a fuss well after the war, he could very well have have assumed that 'his' Maj Wilson was 'our' Maj Wilson, seeing as 'our' Wilson did become a Major later! Anyway, that's by the by.


As to Swinton's qualification for winning an award as opposed to H G Wells, Swinton received one among several awards for playing a part. As far as I recall, he got £1,000, whereas Tritton and Wilson, whom the Commission on Awards to Inventors acknowledged as the actual inventors of the tank, got £15,000 between them. Even de Mole got nearly as much as Swinton. I don't know if Wells put in a claim - if he didn't, that would be why he got no credit, because the Commission only adjudicated on claims that were made, it didn't initiate anything itself.


Incidentally, during WW2, Swinton sued H G Wells (and the BBC!) for some very, erm, 'unwise' things Wells said about Swinton on the radio! They've got the correspondence relating to it in the archives where I work, it's quite an amusing read.


EDIT: One day I'll read a post properly before replying...


I didn't notice you refer to an award to Swinton in 1928, Vilkata, sorry - I don't know about that one, I'll have to see what I can find at home.


BTW, at a tangent, but did you know that the actress Tilda Swinton is a great-niece of old Ernest?



-- Edited by Roger Todd at 11:21, 2006-03-03

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